Many individuals are going through divorce for the first time and their immediate question is normally, “how do I get started?” Most people want to know the immediate steps they should take to protect themselves and their children as they commence on the process of filing for divorce. I am writing this article to provide a few of the basic steps you can take to help ensure your interests will be protected through this process. For more detailed information you can and speak with a lawyer at our firm anytime of the day or night.
Your Safety Comes First
Most divorces do not involved physical harm or threats of physical harm. However, for many, the relationship may reach a point where there is domestic violence or where one of the parties or children are in danger. Before anything else, you need to make sure that you and the kids are safe. This does not just go for women either; we have represented both men and women in seeking protective orders from an aggressive spouse. If you have been abused, threatened with harm, or believe your safety may be at risk, you should contact law enforcement. After speaking with the police and ensuring your safety, we can help in representing you through a protective order proceeding and helping to ensure order from the court are in place to protect you through the divorce process in Utah.
Neither party should ever take action in an attempt to hide assets or dispose of money or property in an attempt to circumvent the other party’s rights. However, you should be thinking about the costs involved in a divorce and how you will be able to afford legal representation. Saving funds for a day when you may need an attorney is a good idea. Additionally, you should be making sure that you are aware of what the real financial picture of the family really is how much income your spouse earns, retirement accounts, and a general understanding of all your debts and assets. Know where the money is going each month so you can be sure your spouse is not disposing or transferring martial funds.
Statute Quo Matters
If you are separated from your spouse, the status quo you maintain with regard to issues such as custody, parent time, etc. can really matter. If you are following certain custody arrangements when separated, a judge may be inclined to follow such an arrangement. Therefore, it is highly important that you try to set a status quo that you would be comfortable with actually becoming a final order from a judge.
Meeting with an Attorney
Of course we are going to tell you to speak with a lawyer before you do anything. The truth is it really makes a difference to be able to get a game plan form an Ogden Divorce Lawyer who understands your particular set of circumstances. Many attorneys do not charge for consultations. We offer free consultations over the phone so there really is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of that and at least get some good advice before doing anything you might find out later to be the wrong step.